The Heart of Sacrifice

“It’s a heart issue. Are you going to sacrifice for the Lord or not?”

That was just a small part of a conversation I had with someone recently. They got right down to the root issue—sacrifice requires a right heart. We all know that sacrifice is part of the Christian life. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” We also know that Jesus lived out a life of sacrifice as an example for us. John 13:5 says, “After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” Then Jesus said in verse 14, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

Sacrifice. I think every real Christian wants to be known as one who is willing to sacrifice, but doing it is another issue. It’s so easy to find a way to escape. I sent out an email last week asking people to help with taking a man to therapy; he lives in Mt Airy and the therapy is in Mt. Airy, so it’s a really easy task. Someone responded to a different email I sent out, so I asked if they were willing to take this man to therapy. Here’s what they said. “I was praying for more opportunities to minister this morning, saw the email, deleted it. Then realized this might be one of those opportunities I was praying about and undeleted it…. And now you’re asking. At this point I can’t say no.” Now that’s calling it what it is. We’ve all been guilty of blowing off the opportunities, but this person recognized it and did something about it.

Sacrifice. Where is your heart? Do you pray for “more opportunities to minister”? Do you have a heart to give like Paul? He said, “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all” (Phil. 2:17). There’s the heart again. Paul said he would be “glad and rejoice” if he was completely spent—like a drink offering absorbed by the ground—on the sacrifice and service of the faith of those in Philippi.

Sacrifice is difficult, but it’s a real, measurable expectation of God. We could talk a lot about what it takes to get there, but it’s really just a matter of obedience. I don’t know any better way to say it. “It’s a heart issue. Are you going to sacrifice for the Lord or not?”